Cardiff City F.C. ~ Ninian Pork belly

Introduction: Ninian Park is named after Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart (15 May 1883 – 2 October 1915) and was the home ground for Cardiff until 2009.


The stadium hosted a number of Welsh international fixtures. The last ever Cardiff City match played at there was a 3-0 defeat by Ipswich Town. The last player for Cardiff City to score at Ninian Park was Ross McCormack in a 3-1 victory over Burnley.

This the my friend Rodders’ preferred method of cooking pork belly.  He is a very good cook and will enjoy the association with Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart.

Preparation time: 20 mins with 45 mins drying time

Cooking time: 3 hours 30 mins

Home kit: large deep sided baking tray with wire rack.

Away kit: 6 plates, knives and forks

Serves: 6


  • 1.5kg (3¼ lb.) pork belly
  • Lots of salt, preferably Maldon sea salt but it isn’t critical.

Method: Preheat the oven to 220oC then turn down to 170oC

First half

Using a small sharp knife, score lines into the skin (cutting into the fat) about 1cm (½in) apart, but not so deep that you cut into the meat. Pat the pork completely dry, then leave uncovered at room temperature to air dry for about 45 minutes.

Second half

Rub lots of salt over the pork skin. Put the pork, skin-side up, on the rack, roast for 30min. Rodders puts his at the top of the oven. Then turn down the oven temperature to 170°C (150°C fan) and continue cooking for 3 hours. Rodders puts his at the bottom of the oven for this bit – the crackling should turn crisp and golden.

Transfer pork to a board and use a sharp knife to slice off the crackling in one piece (about the outer 2cm/¾in). Cover the pork meat loosely with foil and leave to rest for 30-40min.

Full time results

Cut the crackling into six long strips, then cut the pork belly into six neat squares. Serve each square topped with a strip of crackling, roast spuds and cauliflower cheese.

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